Stephen Marsh is the sort of guy that defines “first call.” In a natch over 20 years in the mastering game, his client roster has seen the likes of Los Lobos, Boyz II Men, Ben Harper, Kenny Loggins, Megadeth, The Donnas, Ozomatli, Pharcyde, Incubus, Ginuwine, Keb’ Mo’, and Jars Of Clay.
Furthermore, he’s provided audiophile remastering services for guys you might have heard of called Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Janis Joplin, and James Taylor. Oh, and The Byrds.
As if that’s not enough, he’s also mastered Oscar and Golden Globe-winning film scores. In other words, Stephen’s listening ability is unparalleled, so when he speaks about speakers, you should probably listen to him. He recently had a chance to install the Sceptre S8 Monitors in his studio and put them through their paces. Here, he shares his reaction. Thanks, Stephen, for taking the time to share your experience with us. Enjoy!
For more on the Sceptre monitors, click here.
Check it out! The incomparable Doug Gould came by the PreSonus office and knocked out an incredible THIRY VIDEO SERIES on quick tips for the worship audio crowd. In this inaugural episode, he discusses the value of simplicity and consistency in your House of Worship productions. Stay tuned to the blog here for the entire 30-video series—one per day in May!
For info on the StudioLive AI digital mixers, click here.
For more from Doug Gould and Worship MD, click here.
[UPDATE: This offer has been extended to June 30, 2014!]
We live in a world with a million free VST plug-ins, a quarter million amp companies, racks and stacks of dusty vintage gear with true-analog vintage mojo, and new gear from hundreds of manufacturers popping up every month. For the budget-minded recordist, it can be a lot to take it at once, and settling on the right gear can sometimes be more work than making a record itself. With so many people asking so many questions about the “right” way to record, it’s a wonder Google hasn’t broken yet.
Searches for “how do I record X” often return a stormy HTML sea of online audio recording punditry. Amidst the results, however, one often finds a familiar refrain that goes something like this:
The spirit of “Less is more,” in this case, applies to both the AudioBox USB design mindset and money. Because until June 30, 2014, we’re offering $30 off of the AudioBox USB. (US Pricing, offer may vary in your local market, please check with your local distributor) There’s no rebate paperwork, no waiting period, and no searching under the front seat of the car for the receipt that you lost. Just lower prices on the AudioBox USB, the world over.
The trusty, sturdy AudioBox USB is aimed squarely at the back-to-basics recording mindset. You get two 1/4″ XLR combo jacks, ideal for recording guitar and vocals simultaneously, MIDI in and Out, Main Outs for your monitor speakers, and a headphone out. Keeping things simple also means keeping them small, and the AudioBox USB will slip right into most any laptop case for recording on the go. Furthermore, it’s USB bus-powered, which means you don’t have to worry about pesky dead batteries or AC power cables mucking up your session.
Want to record a coffeeshop gig without lugging a mixer around? Want to record a solo acoustic guitar performance from the top of a tree? Want to record an impromtu jam session while riding the bus? The AudioBox USB makes all of these ideas possible.
It also works on your ideas.
Taylor Nauta consistently sounds great, and we felt that the ADL 700 and ADL 600 preamps would really do his tones justice. So, we invited him by the new HQ, brought him to the live room, and recorded a few tracks.
Taylor’s voice is running through the ADL 700, and his guitar is recorded through a direct input into the first channel of the ADL 600, as well as by a mic run into the second channel.
[This just in from Kirk Farmer of the Dirty Rumors, who are living the PreSonus life to the fullest!]
Thanks for the invitation to be included in your blog. We are called Dirty Rumors. We’re a quasi rock band / jam band from Roanoke, VA comprised of Kirk Farmer, (Me) on lead vocal and guitar, Tim (Caesar) O’Sullivan on lead guitar, Scott Sutton on bass, Ben Hite on keys, and Thomas Wilson on drums. We’re more of a jam band than anything. Our live performances are heavy on the long instrumental jams with variety of influxes including rock, funk, blues and county. We actually have a large collection of live tracks that can be streamed from our website. Most of which were also recorded using the same equipment and software we used to record the EP. The EP is called Unity Gain and was released online through TuneCore.com in January.
I was originally introduced to PreSonus when I worked as a recording engineer in Raleigh, NC. I saw a demo of the StudioLive 16.4.2 at a show put on by one of your distributors in Greensboro. I was particularly impressed with it’s ease of use and by the transparency of the preamps.
I few years later, I relocated to Roanoke,VA and brought on a business partner named Nate Potter in order to expand my mastering studio, K-14 Studios service offerings to include mobile, multi-track recording. Nate was also a big fan of the Presonus gear and owned a 16.4.2, and also introduced me to Studio One.
Tim and I formed Dirty Rumors in September of 2012. When we made the decision to record our EP, it was only logical that Nate and I produce and engineer the project using the PreSonus gear that we had been using to record our clients with.
As mentioned before, we primarily use the 16.4.2 for tracking. One of the great things about this setup is its mobility. All we need is the board, the laptop, the snake and some mics and we’re in business—literally! We use Capture to track everything, including overdubs. Once we get the tracks back to the studio, we use a FirePod as a speaker/headphone interface, and mix the sessions on Studio One. We also use Studio One’s project page for mastering.
The things we like most about the PreSonus hardware are the quick setup time and the preamp quality. With other digital mixers, we can potentially spend a significant amount of time just getting the board settings where we want them. Using any outboard gear just adds to the process. With the 16.4.2, we can be powered up and signal and level checked in less than 10 minutes.
As far as the preamps are concerned, the transparency and gain insures a good recording the first time, every time. This is paramount when recording a live show where we might not get a second take. They also allow for a great deal of flexibility during the mixdown process. We can make a lot more creative decisions about the overall sound of the project when we don’t have to contend with preamp coloration introduced by your hardware.
On the software side, Studio One is undoubtedly the most flexible and user-friendly DAW I’ve ever used. It’s intuitive, powerful, and very easy on my CPU. In the past, I’ve primarily used Pro Tools and Audition, both for their different strengths: Pro Tools for tracking and Audition for mastering. Studio One combines the best of both worlds in one very dynamic suite.
Nate and I are currently working on a video project for a band from Lynchburg, VA. Again, we used the PreSonus gear for the tracking, and continue to use Studio One for the post- production processing. Our last major project was the Unity Gain EP, which we created ourselves from start to finish. Dirty Rumors is rumored to be recording a concert video in May at the new amphitheater in downtown Roanoke. We plan to use the 16.4.2, tied in to the FOH board through a splitter snake to record the audio from the show. We’re also talking about recording a full length album this summer, and PreSonus is along for the ride every step of the way!
Check out this incredibly comprehensive series of videos from the geniuses at Groove3. These guys have broken down the StudioLive AI workflow into easily-digestible bite-size pieces. First-time-buyers will find everything they need to get connected and running on the StudioLive AI, while seasoned audio vets can skip straight to the chapter on ringing out monitors.
The incredibly thorough Groove3 has left no stone unturned here, and have also taken on VSL, remote mixing, Smaart wizards, and the AI family’s integration with Studio One.
We’re happy to report that PreSonus Artist KATFYR’s track “Lose Control” is currently sitting at the #2 spot on Beatport’s Dubstep chart, notably above some guy called “Skrillex.” We’re equally happy to also report that the track was made in none other than Studio One!
If you’ve ever wanted to see what makes a track like this tick, you need look no farther than to KATFYR’s demonstration of Studio One at NAMM 2014, where you can see how “Lose Control” was built from the ground up.
Sincere congrats to a good friend doing good work. If you’re so inclined, why not help him out a bit, and get a copy of the track and bump him up to #1?